I Thought
Luann Prater

“But Naaman went away angry and said, 'I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.'” 2 Kings 5:11 (NIV)

Leprosy is an infectious disease that is characterized by disfiguring skin sores, nerve damage, and progressive debilitation. Being healed, with or without a dramatic flare should be appreciated. And yet, because God did not perform the miracle in the showy way Naaman thought, he was angry.

The job posting popped into my email. I hadn’t gone looking for it, but there it was. A store manager’s position was being sought for a local bridal shop. I wondered how in the world it ended up in my email. Always looking for God’s fingerprints on my life, I responded to the notice with a simple reply, “Hopefully God will bring just the right person with bridal experience to you, if he does not, however, call me.” And she did! She had only posted her job offer through the employment security office, so she was baffled why it ended up in my email. From the moment we met, we knew that God had meant for us to come together in some way.

I thought for sure that God had some miraculous reason for bringing our two lives together. At work each day I would watch and listen for signs of His purpose for having me there. Day after day, the drudgery of dealing with egocentric brides made me grow weary wondering if God really had a plan for me there or had I missed something.

The first week on the job I met an alterationist named Alexandra. She was from Ecuador and had not been home for 8 years. Only a month earlier I had discovered that our Proverbs 31 team would be traveling to Ecuador with Compassion International. “Okay God, is this the reason you brought me to this place?” I queried. I had many opportunities to talk with her about God. During my visit to Ecuador I hand delivered a care package from Alexandra for her family.

One day a bride was devastated when her wedding was cancelled. I wrapped my arms around her and asked if I could pray with her. Gently laying her head on my shoulder she shook her head and we prayed.

In the middle of the bustling busy day a bridesmaid came in with an attitude. She snapped at a young clerk so I stepped in and asked if she was ok. She grumbled that she had committed to be in a friend’s wedding this weekend but this was the last place on earth she wanted to be. It seems her mother had just been in a head-on collision and was struggling for her very life in ICU. The frivolous trappings of a wedding had become a frustration. I asked if I could pray for her. She took my hands and we prayed.

So there has never been a showy lightning bolt experience that told me, “Ah-ha, THIS is why you brought me here!” I've only found moment-by-moment happenings that beckon me to be Jesus with skin on as I live each day.

Looking back on my life I can see countless times where I thought I knew what God was up to, only to discover later that I had no clue.

Are you frustrated with where God has placed you? Do you wonder why on earth you are here? Or what in the world is He thinking? Our infectious disease may be anger at the way God answers our prayers.

I encourage you to look beyond your helplessness and behold: The Healer.

Father, We are so blind to your ways. Open our eyes to see past our circumstances and see Your plan. Give us contentment wherever we are in this life and a joyful spirit that gives You praise in the midst of all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

God Calling by A.J. Russell

God’s Purpose for Every Woman, Lysa TerKeurst and Rachel Olsen, General Editors

Application Steps:
Read 2 Kings Chapter 5 and discover that God delivers.

What causes me to doubt?

How can I see God at work in the every day things of life?

Why do I long for showy results from God?

Power Verses:
Psalm 68:3, But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” (NIV)

Isaiah 55:12, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;” (NIV)

Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” (NIV)

Romans 4:20-21, “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (NIV)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You for this devotion. It seems that everytime I need some uplifting and encouragement, the Lord amazes me. I am going through a very hard time right now and I don't understand it all. I honestly have no shoulder to cry on except for the Lord. I am heartbroken and feel overwhelmed at times. I question why but I also know, even though I cannot see him, he sees all. Maybe in due time, all these scattered puzzle pieces will come together and I will be able to see how His hand was with me all along. May God continue to bless your ministry.

Blogger Monica said...

Thank you for today's devotional. I too, am learning that God has a way of using us without our noticing. I believe His purpose is not just for us to do great or big things, but to be usable in what we think are the little things. At some point down the road, we discover that those little things really are the great and big things. Having also been a manager of a bridal salon, I have learned that we may be the calm, the peace, the laughter that a bride or member of a bridal party needs.
Please continue to be used. I love the bridal industry and know how draining it can be because of all of the hype. I believe this is an industry that needs men and women of God to bring His peace, beauty, love and joy.

Blogger Sisterlisa said...

Wonderful devotion. 2 weeks ago I went to the jail to visit a girl about her applying to enter our recovery home, as I was leaving I was able to meet another woman and led her to the Lord. I knew I was in the place God wanted me to be.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for today's devotion. It is such an inspiration to me. I was also feeling overwhelmed, confused and frustrated with my current career path. However, this devotion reminds me to be thankful and patient. Thank you. God bless you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this devotional..it helped to put things in perspective for me about God using me and placing me in situations for His purpose

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear God my Father,

I think that I am not the person I should be.

A mask of happiness is what all the others see.

Happiness is nothing if the feeling is not real.

Helplessness is the only emotion that I feel.

Pray for me my friends, that God will see me through.

These times of fear and worry that I have traveled to.

Let me live my life one hour at a time

So that I will know His comfort will be there for me to find.

Blogger Liche said...

Thank you for this devotion. I too am trying to be content where God placed me. I was very content and happy in my "little" comfort zone. Then all of a sudden the job that I'm at right now landed in my lap. I was not campaigning for this position. You see, I went from the freelance world to an 8-5 job. I used to work out of my home, (I was a freelance court reporter) but now God placed me in the courtroom setting. I work for district court and I see and hear a lot of hard core stuff. Please pray for me that God will shine His light through me. One main reason I took this job was because God said "Go." I struggled and cried because I didn't want to leave my "cushion" freelance position, but now I see why God has me in the area I'm in right now. I need to pray for our judges, criminals, and everyone else involved in our judicial system. Thanks again for the devotion. God keeps reminding me He has me right where He wants me for a season.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this devotional because my daughter is a bride so I could easily relate to that side of it. I will say that the personnel at a Bridal Salon are very important as bride's are very nervous about details. We greatly enjoyed our experience at a recent showing of bridal dresses. The staff made us feel very comfortable at certain uncomfortable moments.

Plus this devotional and comments have helped me with God's direction for my life. I am having a hard time stepping out of my comfort zone and going back into the school system as a tutor. But I see the need and am drawn to whatever He has for me. Thank you for your testimonies and being willing to serve the Lord out of your comfort zone. I praise God for you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a pastor's wife which can be a difficult role at times. A few years back, we encountered a very difficult situation in our church that made it very uncomfortable to stay. With God's leading we tuffed it out, not knowing what He had for us, but trusting he would show us. The easy thing would have been to buckle under pressure and move on, but through wise council, we were told to let God do the moving. Five years later we are still here, loving the people even under difficult circumstances at time. We know that God is using us right where we are for as long as He chooses.
This devotional just reminded me to be content in the situation that I am in and go as God leads.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to know that even Christians feel this way and have these thoughts.
Sometimes i feel that because I'm a Christian I'm NOT allowed to feel that way.
Thank YOU

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